Cracks in the Pact D+15: East Germany Part I

As was the case with all Warsaw Pact countries, the seeds of defiance and resistance to Soviet domination had been planted long before July, 1987. Events earlier in the 1980s, coupled with the start of the Third World War served to accelerate the development of these seeds into plants. By late July, 1987 the plants were ready to bear fruit.

In the German Democratic Republic, the political leadership relied on the Ministry for State Security, more commonly known as the Stasi, to keep the civilian populace in check. The state security apparatus was a highly effective organization that East Germans lived in fear of. The Stasi were everywhere, whether in reality or by rumor. As was the case with most Eastern Bloc security and intelligence services, the power of the Stasi came largely from the projection that it was everywhere and monitoring everyone continuously. Whether or not this was true became a moot point as the power and capabilities of the Stasi, real and imagined, circulated through East German society, becoming an urban legend that served to help keep the population in a state of general compliance.

After two weeks of war, the Stasi’s grip on the East German people was loosening in some respects. In cities and large towns around the GDR, security services were firmly in control. With the fighting in the west continuing without end, casualties mounting, and NATO air attacks causing more destruction with each passing night, the focus of the Stasi was fixed on people and events within East Germany’s borders. Dissent, whether true or imagined, was dealt with swiftly and decisively. Here, the power of the Stasi came not from the illusion of power, but from a truncheon or the barrel of a gun.

In rural areas, Stasi control was considerably less absolute. Keeping the population sedate was not the only task state security concerned itself with. Intelligence, and counter-intelligence operations were underway, as were a half dozen other priority efforts. The manpower did not exist for the Stasi to patrol and monitor every inch of the German Democratic Republic. Since the stability of cities such as Berlin, Leipzig and Magdeburg could not risked, no corners were cut by Stasi agents and bureaucrats in the urban areas. As a result, it was the smaller towns which saw less monitoring and interference by the Stasi, largely because there were not enough men to do so.

To make up for the shortfall in manpower, Stasi agents operating in the rural areas were exceptionally more brutal and vindictive. Terror was a force-multiplier that hid the truth about just how few Stasi agents there were in the immediate areas and regions. The approach worked for a while, but as with all things, the effectiveness of terror eventually diminished. When it did, this brought on a new wave of consequences that would place East Germany’s Ministry of State Security and the rest of the government in a vulnerable position.

The first hints of what lay ahead in the coming days emerged from the shadows on the morning of D+15 from the small village of Pelkwitz, located roughly halfway between East Berlin and Dresden.


11 Replies to “Cracks in the Pact D+15: East Germany Part I”

  1. Ooh, teaser. Liking your mix of the military and political, although I always thought the OstiJuleses would be the most solid Warpac member – as long as casualty numbers could be kep lo or under wraps….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, they were the most solid Pact member in many regards. But like we saw in real life back in 1989 all it took was one little nudge to bring the whole structure down.


  2. their food and fuel is rationed normally now cut it in half for the war and you have a angry populous who wants the sons and husbands back and has very little care for the soviets’ reason for going to war in the first place and their are more of them per stasi same in the czeh I came across a report when the germans turned on the stasi and kgb they raided a house that turned out to be a safe house for the kgb one of the young officers in side was putin him self the people were only looking for papers on the missing or detained so he was free to go be he about shit him self and has never forgotten it and shaped him going into the future made him the man he is today

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Putin was there in the thick of it back in 89. It shaped him, you’re right. More leaders should realize that as they deal with him these days. Might help them.


      1. One would think this sort of item would be mentioned in the background info given to leadership when they have to deal with their counterparts.

        And it is an interesting tidbit. One I know I had no idea on… and it would explain a number of things he’s done as he rose in power.

        Liked by 1 person

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